The Climate Dreams Project Resumes

A personal note: I imagined I would pause this project briefly as I moved from NYC to Santa Fe in the fall of 2019. A few short months after we settled in, the pandemic descended, and our high-risk household has been focused on surviving through it ever since.

I am resuming this project now, and am accepting new submissions. You may share you climate dreams at this website by posting in the comments section on any page – I will only post it anonymously unless you indicate that you would prefer to be cited. You may also share dreams at the Climate Dreams Project Twitter feed: @climatedreams.

What follows are dreams submitted to the comment section of this site from Sept 2019 until the present:

~ Martha


Sept. 16th 2019

It had been raining and raining and my student apartment was next to a little creek that had flooded. I was explaining this and someone asked, “what creek?” and I had to say, it doesn’t have a name yet, it’s a new one. There was a place on a street corner where funerals were being held, and where flowers were being left. I was walking with my prof near this corner and telling my prof why I had been missing class, because of the flooding. The prof said, “I suppose you’re going to tell me your mother and grandmother’s flowers are there?” and I looked at the flowers and said, “no, they’ve been taken away already.” The prof was telling me I needed to just drop the class and I was crying and said, “there’s crawdads in my apartment.”
Also – I was wearing wet shoes I had woven from palm fronds.

Nov. 15th, 2019

I had a dream that there was an earthquake (i live in Michigan) and as i was trying to drive to my parent’s house, to check on them, the road opened up and swallowed me and my vehicle, whole.

Nov. 15th, 2019

The unstable climate and violent storms prevented cities from being habitable. I was part of a group of nomads consisting of about twenty people. We would camp in one place for awhile then leave before the stormy season. We planted several crops before leaving, with the expectation that a few would fail due to the weather conditions, but enough crops survived that it was worthwhile. A few groups, usually families, were tasked with living in bunkers and maintaining telecommunications, which were vital for reporting weather conditions around the world. The nomads would leave these families with enough food to survive the stormy season.
We traveled light, living in teepees mainly. Some of them were insulated and had air conditioning units. We had solar panels for electricity, but mostly used it for lighting and communications. We used large trucks for long-distance journeys and horses for local travel. The most valuable skills were agriculture, mechanics, and electronics.
There was no money, and no taxes. Life was simple but we were free.

Nov 16th, 2019

I dreamed I was a polar bear, swimming through the gelid water at twilight. I was exhausted and trying to find an ice floe to rest on, but none were big enough to hold me. I swam and swam as it got dark, my legs getting heavier and my breathing harder. I woke as slid under the waves, drowning.

This one was about 20 years ago: I dreamed I lay in a field at night, but when I looked at the sky, it was dark grey solid metal, like a motherboard, from horizon to horizon. My heart raced in panic, and I woke. It has haunted me since.

I had read that the hottest days we have now will be the coldest days we’ll have in the future. Shortly after, I dreamed that we scurried outside during daytimes, umbrellas above our heads for shade, living in the basement, never going outside.

Nov. 24th, 2019

I dreamt that I was in a house on the coast near the ocean. The view that I had once thought of as breathtaking was now the source of much fear as we watched the water come closer and closer. At the end I was on my hands and knees, examining where the floor and wall met, to look for leaks. The plate glass windows were three inches from ceiling on top, and three inches from the floor at the bottom for maximum view. The sea level had reached the glass, like we were looking at a huge fish tank and watching as the water filled it. When the water was 4-5 inches up the glass and water began seeping through the cracks where the wall met the floor., we all knew we had just seen our last day as residents of that house. It was time to go.
The house was mostly empty already. We knew it was coming. We just didn’t know how soon it would force us out. it seemed like the water rose very slowly in the beginning.
counter to how I would assume it would logically be, it seemed that the higher it got, the faster it rose. I woke up as we were running from the house..

Jan 19th, 2020

I had a terrifying dream about climate change. My husband and I were at one of his friend’s houses for a kids party. We were all in the backyard. A woman there and I were talking, but she got a phone call and while talking to the person on the other end she locked eyes with me and looked horrified.

While still on the phone she began looking for her kid and before she left I asked if she was okay. She was still visibly upset but put her hand on my shoulder as if to comfort me and said “it’s gonna be okay.” Then she left. I walked back to my husband where people were getting calls of their own and leaving. No one wanted to say what was going on. Then I got a phone call. It was from my dad saying Adam, my husband, and I should pick up his parents and come home.

While we drove it stated to get dark and on the way to my parents (after picking up Adam’s parents) we, and the rest of the crazy traffic, got directed by traffic cops to a huge compound of square buildings. while we were on the drive we listened to the radio. There were tidbits about global warming being accelerated but mostly normal radio stuff. I had been looking through my phone during the drive and it was difficult to find straight forward articles but basically the overall message that global warming had been accelerated.

Also during the drive we passed towns where people were in panic and towns that seemed to be completely oblivious.

When we got in the compound we saw it was basically just felt like a huge high-school cafeteria my parents were sitting at a lunch table we sat across from them my dad gave a sorry smile and began explaining what was happening. Global warming was accelerated and if the atmosphere wasn’t cleared by the time the sun came back up it would act as a kind of magnifying glass and incinerate everything the sunlight touched directly. I asked ”Is there is any surviving this?” He said ”even if we did, the smoke from the burning would then block the sun and then basically a nuclear winter.”

He then told us there was something the government could build/activate but it cost an insane amount of money so they were refusing, but maybe they would. So we sat at the table in this giant lunch room full of people and everyone was reacting differently. Most just looked scared and sad, some were crying, but some were just completely normal. My way was just to keep asking questions. There were huge tv screens all over the the cafeteria they began really reporting what was going on and that the other side of the world had “caught fire.” I just hugged my husbands arm and began thinking about all the things we were never going to do and worrying how painful it would be. The whole dream moved so slow and felt very real. When I woke up I was so relieved I started crying.

Feb. 8th, 2020

I had a dream that the Prime Minister was on the TV announcing that insect and bee populations had dropped so low that we had reached a point of no return, that we’d run out of food and that there’s nothing we could do about it.

May 5th, 2020

I dreamed probably this morning before waking up about the problem of high levels of the seas, so I saw people in deserts around big holes digged to make the water enter and let the level of sea decrease. I remember also some media saying that the maximum temperature that we can tolerate was reached and it didn’t decrease but increase and increase.

July 10th, 2021

I just woke up and my dream about this color blue field is still vivid in my head.

In my dream I was traveling with an old acquaintance and then from an alley between wooden houses, we came out to a sea of manicured grass and lavender yet all in color blue.

The tour guide explained that the smog above blocks the sunlight that’s why the field turned blue, developing unusual plant cells for them to survive.

If we try to dig out the blue plants, their roots will release gases that will add to the smog. But the tour guide said that the gases trapped in the soil can also be the solution to dissolve the smog. But it will be a long and difficult process.

July 11th, 2021

The dream It first started with my family, and I try to reach out for help. I do remember feeling the sun. It was very bright and hotter than it usually is. Anyways, we get helped and are sent to a planet where it is safe.

Something about the United States was said. The “new” planet helped move some of the earth population over. The planet was just like earth. Talks about the atmosphere changing were made and I could sense a shift when we were asking for help. I can’t recall what it was. Life keeps going and its usual ways for a short time.

Then we start to get a food shortage and we had a pool. The pool was the source we used to get water. I remember hearing things about how Hawaii and Alaska had a switch. Hawaii was freezing with snow. I remember feeling how cold it was when it was said. Hawaiians couldn’t go east to get help because we didn’t know how far the world was snowing too. They will be going west. We settled there For a bit.

I remember The place we were in was small, and we were not welcomed by the people living there. That area Was soon To start Breaking apart Because it talks About how The ice Age was made. When the ice age was melting, the shift had cause cracks that turn into sinkholes. It talks about how it swallowed everything around. They were sure this was going to repeat. They were correct, I remember feeling the ground shake and the ocean come and wiped out half of the population. After surviving that, I felt the earth rumble, and then a hole was made, and I fell into it. I remember the feeling you get when falling on a rollercoaster

February 2021

I had just gotten into the first subway car (the one where there’s a window so you can see what the driver sees) and I was going into the city from Queens. Once we had pulled out of the station the conductor made an announcement that due to debris on the track we might have a bit of a turbulent ride or maybe even bee derailed. When I started feeling the shakiness of the train I looked out and saw it was people on the track, those people littered or used plastic bags when other alternatives were offered to them. And they had a sign around their neck that said what they did. And after they were all killed we continued as normal except we weren’t going to Manhattan now. We were in a beautiful rural area and surrounded by mountains and a freshwater lake. There were regular lions on the top of the mountain and bird too, penguins and dodos. We went swimming in the lake but we were pushed up and outwards by the braking of a dam. And there were wolves in the water. And they were all drowning, but the humans weren’t drowning because we were on a red carpet which was on the water. I went back to that location a day later I’m guessing for my aunts wedding. It was so horrendous though, the lions that were there before, were on a thickish slab of ice. They had cubs, none of which had hair, and they were all stuck in one position like they were frozen in time. One mother lion grooming her cub another mother watching two cubs play fight. And there were small animals like skunks porcupines in a vending machine because that was the only way they could cool off. I didn’t realize until a bit later the lake was now machine operated in the one day I was gone it had dried out and it was basically a pool now. And I called peta and some other service I’m guessing parks and recreation and informed them about it and instead of tending to the animals they asked if I was okay, but these animals came up right next to them and started dying. But he did nothing. And PETA hadn’t gotten there by the time I woke up. ~ Anonymous

May 2019 Climate Dreams

I dreamed I went on a field trip to a nature reserve set up for endangered species. We walked by an apple orchard that wasn’t finished yet and someone in the group commented that it was for the zebras but as long as the people watching the zebras did a good job they wouldn’t need to relocate them to the orchid. A bridge to the secret lake that appears in many of my dreams was washed out because of the raised sea levels.

~~~~~~

I dreamt my family and I were trying to find a place to live. Tennessee, where we are now, was no longer safe. Volatile weather meant you could never make plans: tornadoes and floods and lightning and straightline winds. But every time we had an idea where we could live that was safer, that place would have a disaster. There were fires, floods, and avalanches. The sense of futility, hopelessness, and panic was palpable.

Climate Dreams: 3/3/19

I dreamed we had a summit of regular people to decide how to push for action on climate change. One path involved talking to and influencing diplomats somehow. We all felt hopeful by the time I woke up

~~~~~~~~~~~

I dreamt that the clouds were very dark, stretching out over my town, and the rain and wind were so bad we had to stay in the house. I looked outside at the clouds, and saw some big billowing clouds below us. I realized they were rolling down the street, and were not clouds at all, but a torrent of floodwater. I knew the water could come in through our front door, and I woke up from the dream in a panic of thinking about how to get onto our roof to be rescued.

Climate Dreams 1/27/19

I am flying over the area where my family’s cabin is located, but all of the leaves are brown, because of climate change, even though it is summer.

~~~~~~

I was in a group of several young women (and was younger than I am now) traveling in a boat without a rigid hull that kept shifting shape and taking on water. I had a camera with a telephoto lens that I was having a lot of trouble keeping dry.

We stopped at a small island, and were diving in shallow water just off the shoreline near a pier for starfish and conch. As the tide started to go out, we thought we’d be able to gather more from the now revealed sea bottom, but we found everything exposed was dead and decaying.

We realized the sea had been bringing fresh live creatures near the shoreline when the waters came in from the deep, but when those waters receded, the lifeless sand at the foundation of the shore was revealed. It smelled like shit with streaks of brown, black, and gray.

We were able to get our failing boat to a bigger island and catch a plane. As the plane headed out, we flew low over the islands (which I thought of as the Bahamas). You could see the islands had been reduced to piles of sand because of storms and development. You could see how the islands had been dredged and reshaped to create “driveways” for boats to reach the houses of the wealthy. But now the houses were abandoned and the waterways among them were filled with stagnant brown water.

One of the young women asked why the water was brown now instead of the clear blue in which we had been diving. I answered (back to my current age) because they are full of shit, from the boats emptying their waste directly into the water.

We flew over island after island, silently, bearing witness to the devastation. The people were gone. There was no greenery. The waters were stagnant between the various islands. Eventually, the plane ascended, and we flew away feeling a sense of impending doom.

~~~~~~~

Feel free to submit your dreams in the comments section. I will remove all identifying data before posting.

So it begins again…

Over a year ago I began collecting dreams, The 45 Dreams Project, gathering and examining dreams of the 45 president of the United States. I first gathered dreams of my friends, acquaintances, and my psychotherapy clients (with permission and all shared anonymously) as well as any on topic dream posted anonymously to the comments section at the blog-site. I then opened up a @45dreamsblog twitter account and began searching, retweeting, and gathering submitted dreams on Twitter. The end result was over 3,000 dreams which began to reveal clear patterns of our collective unconscious hopes and fears. Finally, as I began writing an examination of these dreaming themes, I began posting one thematic “chapter”  – organized around representative dreams –  each month at the site.

At the suggestion of a friend on Twitter, I have decided to start a new collection project  – focusing this time on our individual and collective psyche’s response to  the planetary climate crises that endangers us all.

What do we fear will be our downfall?

How do we hope to save ourselves?

What do we need to accept and to mourn?

How do we live and act meaningfully through the end of an unsustainable era, and what do we imagine will come next for us, if anything?

Feel free to share this page – and to submit your dreams to this blog in the comments section on any page. All dreams submitted here will be stripped of identifying information and posted anonymously.  You may also use twitter to forward or submit dreams – @climatedreams – publicly or privately via DM.

Watch this site and the twitter feed to watch the collection grow.

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